Pernod Ricard – Keanu Batista

A brand ambassador is the face of the company, responsible for establishing networks and relationships and market the brand via word of mouth often through events – which is a difficult task in the age of isolation. Today, Keanu Batista the brand ambassador for Pernod Ricard is in the Lockdown Lowdown spotlight. He has explored the digital arena, to turn the virtual into the personal to create connections and intrigue for the gin portfolio he runs in South Africa.



Originally studying to be an accountant at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, Keanu began his mixology journey at Molecular Bars where he worked his way up to a management position, realising his true passion lay in the hospitality industry and not in the debtors and creditors columns of financial books. 

At the age of 23, Keanu is already an accomplished mixologist, winning the National Beefeater MIXLDN 7 competition and going on to compete on the global stage where he was scouted by Pernod Ricard South Africa. Pernod Ricard is a global alcoholic beverage company distributing esteemed spirits that include Jameson, Absolut, and G.H Mumm. 

Keanu became a brand ambassador for Pernod Ricard after his national win, representing the companies finest gins such as Beefeater, Malfy and Monkey 47. As an ambassador, Keanu has to entice buyers to fall in love with the brands under his portfolio, by describing the narrative behind each product to generate a deeper interest and loyalty.  



As a brand ambassador, Keanu is responsible to cultivate relationships and networks within the spirits industry. He needs to in his own words “sell the story behind the brand instead of just another product”, thus cultivating trust and love between the brand and its buyers. Attending events and orchestrating training courses to spread the story of the gins under his portfolio, has proven challenging in the age of COIVD-19.  With the restriction of alcoholic beverages being sold and the lockdown in full swing, Keanu has had to find new ways to connect with his audience. 

The challenge is to spread the brand narrative using digital platforms, to build anticipation and intrigue while entertaining thousands in quarantine. By streaming over Instagram, Keanu has found a way to not only enthral but educate followers on the art of mixology, all while sharing the stories of the brands he represents. His content allows viewers to learn mixing techniques for specific cocktails and recipes to make syrups in your own kitchen – proving that a delicious cocktail can be achieved in the comfort of your own home. 

To find out more about mixology and how the national lockdown has given unforeseen challenges to the alcohol industry as a whole, give Keanu Batista’s Instagram profile a follow and tune in to episode four of the Lockdown Lowdown for all the details here


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